I have a confession to make.
I'm really not into the whole New Year making goals and resolutions thing.
It's not that I think making goals is a bad idea; on the contrary, I like to make goals all the time. As the need, motivation and desire arises.
But here is my problem with conventional New Year resolutions. Problems, really. I either completely ignore them or I become paranoid about them and/or guilted by them. They're counterproductive to someone like me, a self-declared recovering perfectionist.
But inspiration is still good. How to find the balance? Between healthy striving and destructive perfectionism?
Last year, after a prompting at church, I decided to focus on one thing. A theme, as opposed to a resolution. I chose gratitude.
As many people have been, I was moved by One Thousand Gifts. So I "resolved" in 2012 to keep a gratitude journal, listing the things I was thankful for as I saw them. I even chose a theme scripture for the year: "Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus." (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)
So how did it go? Not terrible. The funny thing about true gratitude is that you can't really measure it.
But that was also the problem I had. I think I tried to measure it. I numbered my list in my journal. I felt guilty for days when I came up with nothing. Sometimes I even took pride when I had a few extras.
At the same time, it was helping me find beauty in life's ugly moments. It was working on my heart.
About halfway through the year I scrapped the journal because it was making me anxious (how would I ever get to 1000!) Yeah I'm weird, get used to it. I tried to take the mindset of the journal -- finding grace in the everyday -- without being legalistic about it. It went okay.
So now the year is up, a new one is afresh, and I'm pondering. What to take forward?
Apparently this "one word" thing is a trend now. Cool, glad to know I was ahead of the game on that one.
I've decided that my word for 2013 is...GRATITUDE! I know, are you shocked? (I guess it was in the title, so you really shouldn't be).
The reason I've chosen this word again is not because I failed at it miserably. It's more because I need way more than just one year to focus on it (maybe I should just make it the theme of a lifetime? We'll see...).
I'm taking up the journal again, but this time I don't have any number goals. I could reach 1000 or the end of the year or I could reach 100. Doesn't matter. I allow myself to skip a month, or nine, and come back to it without feeling guilty. (By the way, did you know psychological research supports keeping a gratitude journal?)
I'm also trying the 1000 Gifts app instead of a paper journal. I'm a normally a traditionalist; I like pen and paper. But when it comes down to it, the app is really cool. And I'm more likely to have my phone on hand. Digging for pens at inopportune times last year stressed me out. Plus you can add your Instagram photos to the app. I'm sold.
So here we go, 2013, Gina is going to be even more grateful. And just to keep it fresh, here's a new scripture: "So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness." (Colossians 2:6-7)
Talk to me -- what do you think about New Year resolutions? Do you have a personal theme for 2013?
And as always, you can vote just by clicking here.